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Software Review: Paymo [2017]

Paymo logoGeneral information

Name: Paymo

Vendor: Paymo LLC

Hosting options: Web only

Cost and plans: $14.95/user/month which includes all the features. There is a 15 day free trial so that you can check everything out.

Languages: 18 options, one of the most generous I’ve ever seen!

Currency: Loads. I didn’t count them all, but there are probably about 18 to match the language options.

Basic features: starting a project

None of the software I’ve reviewed this year makes it difficult to start a new project, and Paymo is no exception.

Use the big ‘Add Project’ button. Type in the project description, add the client info (I think this is mandatory), set a colour. There is a nice range of greens so I can choose one to match my corporate colours.

Creating a project in Paymo

Creating a project in Paymo

You can then add tasks. I wasn’t massively impressed that each task has to be added to a task list. I wasn’t sure why I would want to set up new task lists, so I created one to find out. It just displays the tasks grouped together on the screen. You could use a task list to group or categorise tasks such as by the person who is doing the work or by project stage.

I did like that you don’t have to click too much to move to the next task. If you have lots of tasks to enter you can do them quickly, type the task name and click Add Task to get another one going straight away. I am a big fan of not having too many mandatory fields. You can mark a task as complete from within the task details or the task list.

The task information pane in Paymo

The task information pane in Paymo

You don’t have to click save or enter on lots of the fields in the system, which is very slick. Once it’s on the screen, it’s done.

You can link milestones to a task list but not to a task. And I don’t believe it’s a dynamic link – it’s not going to flash up that you are missing that milestone if you don’t complete all your tasks on time.

Client focused

Paymo is really aimed at small and medium sized businesses which provide services to others. Everything to do with a project relates back to the client.

The reporting feature gives you lots of options, but essentially they only report on time spent on the project (and the associated cost of this). These sorts of reports are handy for giving your clients or working out what to bill clients, but perhaps less useful for working out whether your internal team is over-resourced.

The good thing about the reports is that you can have them either static or live, so you can produce real-time reports or snapshots depending on what you need.

The dashboard is where you’d go for your other data, and it looks very smart. You can’t drill down into the dashboard, which is a shame. The dashboard picture in the help and on the Paymo website looks much better than the dashboard I had available, and not just because it had a ton more data in it. There obviously are additional widgets available but I wasn’t sure how to add them to the dashboard.

The Paymo dashboard for my trial projects

The Paymo dashboard for my trial projects

This is what yours might look like if you had even more data and widgets:

Paymo dashboard

This is the Paymo dashboard as illustrated in the press kit: lots more widgets and useful data!

There is a full timesheet feature, with plenty of colourful ways to display the data. You can pick to view the data as lists, or month to view/week to view with different colours to highlight your different projects (hence the reason for choosing a project colour).

Integrations and mobile

Paymo has an API, plus apps for Apple devices and one you can download from Google Play. Then there are desktop widgets for Windows and Mac that let you easily track time on tasks and update your projects without having to have to go to the website all the time. There’s also Zapier integrations, so it’s really flexible.

Tailoring it for you

One of the best things about Paymo is how much you can tailor it to suit you. Add photos of your team. Add a logo. Pick your colours. And best of all, you can change the date format so you don’t have to have the month first! UK readers rejoice.

It might seem picky, but these little things make the difference between a totally smooth experience and a happy user and one who uses it because they have to and thinks it’s just OK.

To conclude…

If you run a consultancy, if you offer services to other businesses, if you are a freelancer, then this would work for you. It’s slick, well-designed and targeted to a particular market.

The power of Paymo is in the integrated invoicing, financial reporting, billing and client management. If you didn’t need that then you’d be wasting much of the functionality, in my view, as that’s what it does best.

May 2017 Update: Since writing my initial review they’ve added Gantt Chart and Portfolio Gantt Chart, Resource Scheduling, Kanban Boards, flat fee projects and GSuite integration which makes Paymo a powerful project management tool.

 

Right to Reply

I shared this review with Laurentiu at Paymo and he commented:

There are actually 74 currency options.

Grouping by task lists is mainly for project stages/types of jobs and not for users (users can be added to each task). For example, a project “Web Design” that has been split in tasks lists and tasks and users assigned to tasks:

Research
-online research (Joe)

-meeting with clients (Mary)

-compile report (Joe)

Design
-concept (Julie)
-wireframes (Julie)

Development
– front end (Chris)
– back end (John)

Etc.

You can also hit Enter to add another task (after you’ve added one) instead of moving your hand from the keyboard to the mouse. You can set reminders.

We’ve added the possibility to create “Flat Free” projects

We now have a Gantt Chart, a Resource Scheduler and Kanban Boards

We’ve added the integration with Google Apps

We’ve also launched the Paymo Academy where you can study advanced project management functionality (for the moment we have materials on Gantt Charts)

 

 

Full disclosure: Paymo has been one of my blog sponsors this year but I have not been paid for this review. Just thought you’d like to know!

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About Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth HarrinElizabeth Harrin FAPM is a professional project manager and award-winning blogger behind A Girl's Guide To Project Management. She's passionate about demystifying project management and making tools and techniques work in the real world. She's also the author of several books including the PMI bestseller, Collaboration Tools for Project Managers.
Elizabeth lives in the UK with her family. She uses her organisation and project management skills at home, and also to help other bloggers at Totally Organised Blogging.

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